Friday, April 22, 2005

Quick Thought on the Flat Tax

The standard argument for a flat tax on income relies on simplifying the tax code in the hopes that this will induce evaders to begin paying their taxes again or somehow let people spend less time doing their taxes. It's unclear what the benefit from that actually is, but in any case, the premise is wrong. The annoyance and complication of doing taxes doesn't come from looking up your gross income in the booklet to see how much you owe. That takes about five minutes. The annoying and complicated part is *calculating* your gross income. And until we have pre-market lump-sum transfers doing taxes will be a pain in the ass.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On the Virtues of Blogging

If I have learned something in the past semester it's that if I don't have some sort of creative outlet I become a little bit miserable. Classes are interesting and I've learned a lot, but nothing can compare to the pure exuberance of exercising creative power. And *that* is why I am taking the classes I am taking, to allow me to think and create at higher and higher levels. Unfortunately, those classes (classes in general?) don't really encourage intellectual (or otherwise) creation...so it is easy to lose sight of why it all matters. It matters because of what it allows one to do: to create based on a firm and solid knowledge of what has been created before. Also, to be able to enter social channels in which such creation is encouraged and, in particular, funded.

This is why I am excited about this summer. Though I'll have what will probably be a routine and unexciting job (an economist's lowliest of research assistants) without homework I'll have time to be creative. Despite Swarthmore's academic reputation, which is for the most part well-founded, time pressure inhibits (for me, at least) non-class-related thought. Perhaps in the future I will learn how to overcome this inhibition, but for now I am satisfied with the idea that a Swarthmore education has a purpose beyond immediate short-term satiation.

Anyway, I'm going to try to begin writing here regularly. I don't particularly care if anyone reads what I write in this space, but at least I will have some record of thinking these thoughts and a space in which they can develop.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Perhaps posting...

...will resume soon. I think the site needs a new look though.